Festival Watch
Animation Innovator: Mike Johnson
Photos by Marc-André Bouvier-Pelletier, Juan Pablo di Lelle, Mark Miller, Charles Mohapel and Emru Townsend · October 31, 2005 | Stop-motion came to Montreal once again, with our second Animation Innovator presentation (presented in collaboration with Montreal ACM SIGGRAPH), featuring Corpse Bride animation co-director Mike Johnson. Ably assisted by Mark Miller and animator Drew Lightfoot, Mike presented his short film The Devil Came Down to Georgia before using stills and time-lapse video clips to illustrate how the art of stop-motion works on a large-scale production like Corpse Bride. Throughout, before, and after, Mike and Drew also answered audience questions. A highlight was the presence of three production puppets—a disheveled Victor, the Corpse Bride and Mr. Bonejangles—providing a rare opportunity for the audience to see working puppets up close.

There's more, of course, which is why we have this collection of photos. But it should also be mentioned that this time around, we had two shows, the first a special matinee for elementary and high school students. Those students, some as young as 10, asked some of the best questions of the entire day, grilling Mike, Drew and the fps crew on everything from how direction was divided between Mike and Tim Burton to how money is raised for a feature animated film. We were even subjected to a detailed inquiry into puppet construction. The current generation of animators better watch their backs.

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